Union Block Project
If you’ve been in Hastings lately, you’ve probably seen our latest project — the Union Block mural! Located on the old Secondhand Corners building on the corner of Jefferson and State, the Union Block Project was commissioned by TAC, designed and painted by Hastings artist J. Maizlish Mole, and created on wall space generously donated by building owner Tom Kramer.
About the Project
The Union Block Project started with TAC Executive Director Megan Lavell. Hoping to add a mural to downtown Hastings, Lavell reached out to local artist J. Maizlish Mole and DPS superintendent Jim James for their input. Mole agreed to take on the project, James recommended a building, and the project was put in motion.
For the artwork itself, Lavell gave Mole three guidelines:
- Nothing offensive
- Nothing political
- Something that will make people think and talk
With those broad directives, Mole dreamed up the Union Block, a dramatic white-filled outline of the United States on a black background, with a large red asterisk highlighting Hastings.
“The asterisk over Hastings shows that, in this nation, we matter. Hastings matters.”
The Union Block Project was generously funded by Tom Kramer; the Barry Community Foundation; local philanthropy group Guys Who Give; Wightman Inc.; and three anonymous donors.
Located on the corner of Jefferson and State, the Union Block building is better known to locals as the old Secondhand Corners Building. Building owner Tom Kramer generously agreed to let the new mural be painted on his building and donated the existing mural panel decorations back to TAC.
Hastings Artist J. Maizlish Mole specializes in detailed maps, drawn freehand after immersing himself in the places he is mapping. Born in California, he attended both Parsons School of Design and the New School for Social Research in New York before earning his MA from London’s Slade School of Art. He has performed, exhibited and recorded all over the world and under a variety of names. Learn more